Sunday, June 26, 2005

They Want You

Over at OscarWatch there's an interesting list up of 115 people who've been asked to join the Academy. It's by invitation only that film industry professional join the ranks of the voting body of the Oscars. Some interesting choices this year --one hopes that one day changing membership will learn to move away from middlebrow pap into the realms of mainstream pictures that might actually be worth something 20 years later. Bitch all you want about Sideways being overrated, for example, but people will still be watching Sideways many years hence. Can we say the same about Seabiscuit or Finding Neverland

On the actor front they're going for diversity --Excluding the diverse lineup of new nominees based on nominations they received last year --you already know about them --The Academy wants the following folks to fill out ballots each year: Jennifer Coolidge (great choice), Will Ferrell & Ziyi Zhang (for ubiquity's sake? perhaps), Gael Garcia Bernal & Paul Giamatti (it's a new way for making up for past slights -invite them to join!), Charlotte Rampling, Jean Reno, and Stellan Skarsgard (mighty, talented, oft-employed foreigners)

My favorite choice other than hilarious Coolidge and lusty Bernal is Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo and Wes Anderson filmography fame) being asked to join the music branch. Good on the Academy. They're too boring to nominate him but maybe he can add one interesting voice to one of their least aesthetically adventurous branches. Change comes slowly.

14 comments:

adam k. said...

I have a couple of questions...
First of all, are you automatically invited if you are nominated? I've heard "yes" but I don't know if that's officially true.
Also, if all these new people are invited every year, what's with that 5 thousand and whatever number that's been up as the official voter count forever? Doesn't it just get bigger every year? Wouldn't it be conisderably larger now than a few years ago? People can't be dying at the same rate new members join, and they can't possibly tailer their invites to match the number of outgoing members leaving (by death or otherwise) every year. I feel like the number must be getting bigger and if so, what is it really now?
Hopefully the influence of the new, hipper voters will eventually make the oscars more interesting.

NATHANIEL R said...

I believe, like most organizations, that you have to pay dues every year to keep up your membership status. So, theoretically at least, some people don't stick with it.

That seems crazy to Oscar watchers everywhere but given the stories we've heard over the years... people giving ballots to spouses, others, etc... I imagine it's not as monumental to those in the industry as it is to the movie-obsessed.

adam k. said...

That's sad. Does anyone actually care? Maybe they do invite based on how many they let go. I hope Gael, Jennifer and Paul accept. That'd add some spice to the membership body.

John T. said...

Nathaniel-Would I be correct in assuming that Don Cheadle, Virginia Madsen, and Natalie Portman, all first-time nominees who didn't make the list, are already members of the Academy, and thus aren't being extended an invitation this year?

John T. said...

Nathaniel-Would I be correct in assuming that Don Cheadle, Virginia Madsen, and Natalie Portman, all first-time nominees who didn't make the list, are already members of the Academy, and thus aren't being extended an invitation this year?

darkcypherlad said...

This might be a bit off-topic here, but somebody DID mention Virginia Madsen, and I just found out she's joining the cast of Robert Altman's new film, "A Prairie Home Companion." With Madsen, Streep, Lohan, and Tomlin, the film boasts one of the most eclectic and mouthwatering female casts in ages. Way to go, Virginia!

NATHANIEL R said...

Maybe she's taking Pfeiffer's role?

darkcypherlad said...

Maybe. Her character is described as a "dangerous woman," a role Pfeiffer can play all too well. I'm glad to see VM's career renaissance continue.

NATHANIEL R said...

oh John in answer to your question, the IMDB says

"Oscar nominees are automatically considered for membership, although they are not necessarily asked to join the academy which has invited fewer members this year to slow down its growth.

so that means that Don Cheadle, Virginia Madsen, and Natalie Portman weren't invited despite their nominations... either they were invited previously (unlikely in the case of Madsen and Portman) or the Academy chose not to extend the invite.

weird.

adam k. said...

If I were a nominee who wasn't invited to join, I'd feel kind of slighted. Especially if I'd deserved my nomination, which all of these three did. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

I did find it strange that especially Cheadle and Portman were not asked to join yet Sophie Okenedo was.

And I found the Will Ferrel inclusion strange... what exactly was their reasoning? I love Zhang and Gael so... yay for them!

Who was that person whose name I can't even remember let alone pronounce and/or spell.

And not to bring it around again, but when I saw the list I thought "oh, Hilary Swank didn't get asked?" and then remembered SHE ALREADY WON.

-Glenn

Anonymous said...

Madsen is already a member (she mentioned this in an article). I suspect that Cheadle is as well (I've heard various statements regarding Portman).

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